Sunday, March 4, 2012

Stand By Me by Neta Jackson

Another great book by Neta Jackson! Have you read any of the Yada Yada Prayer Group books? Or the House of Hope books? This book, Stand By Me, is in a new series, called the SouledOut Sisters. Though I call it a “new series” it’s really a spinoff, with favorite characters from the other series featuring in this book as well. I have read most of the books in the other series, so my point of view comes from already understanding the background of many of the characters. However, even if you have never read any of these, I believe you will have no trouble jumping right into this one.

This book focuses on Avis, principal of a city elementary school, worship leader at SouledOut church, mother to a troubled (grown) daughter, and temporary upstairs neighbor to 4 college students. She is torn with conflicting emotions and priorities and senses God is moving her to something, but what?

The four students, especially a new Christian named Kathryn (“Kat”) also focus prominently in the plot of the book. They are experiencing city life in Chicago for the first time (outside of their Christian college), learning valuable life lessons, and searching for their “fit” in life.

When I review books, I really struggle to not give out too much information, things that you will get to “discover” as you read the book, so I’ll leave it at that. The characters are engaging, the plot in compelling, it is just an enjoyable read!

My recommendation is no surprise--I would definitely recommend this book!! Truthfully I’d recommend all of Neta Jackson’s books. Her style of writing is very real, very interesting, very encouraging. This book, as are the others, is full of Scripture, prayer, praise, etc. Great examples of praying the Scripture as well. Having read the other books in the YadaYada series, I have to say that the development of the character of Avis was a surprise to me. I had a kind of mental picture of what she was like, how she behaved, thought, lived—and she was shown to be different from that in this book. More than that. More like us :) . It’s a great addition to the series.

There is also a reader’s guide at the end to aid in discussion if you use this book in a group setting—that’s always a helpful add-on as well!

I received a copy of this book for free for review purposes from the Booksneeze program of Thomas Nelson publishers. I was not required to write a positive review.

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